Crossdressing Photos, Part 1
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Damn, I'm on a roll with these journal entry things
Ok, so it struck me this morning on my way to work that there are lots of pretty crossdressers out there, but there aren't many pretty crossdressing photos. What I mean is that as a broad generalization we put a ton of work in to looking pretty, dressing up in elaborate outfits, etc . . . and then we don't spend the 5min it would take to get a decent photo of it. Most other genres of people photography on dA have a pretty solid collection of talented photographers, but a lot of the crossdressing stuff is rather amateur. Not that I'm expecting everyone to be a professional photographer (we all start somewhere, and god knows my start was pretty rough) . . . I just think we could make a much better name for ourselves. With a little effort.
So I'm going to try and point out some of the biggest and easiest to fix issues that I see and provide tips to fix them. I hope that doesn't offend anybody terribly because I'm just trying to be helpful. The other side of this is an offer.
If you don't mind me using a photo you took as an example, leave me a note or comment with a link to your photo . . . I'll post an explanation of the specific things I would have changed in the original, then I'll do a bit of easy post-processing work along with a full tutorial of how to do it. Of course if I get an overwhelming response I may have to pick and choose a bit, but I'll try to work on one photo from anyone who would like me to.Alright, the real basics:Clean up your room.
Yes, seriously. Or in a pinch just throw a sheet over everything. Hang it with pushpins in the wall, you don't need a fancy photographer's backdrop. The background in a photo should generally be sparse, with a few props or structural elements. Any more and it gets cluttered - you lose focus on your subject (you!).
A backdrop made of sheets and pushpinsDon't hold your camera.
Prop it up on your desk, set it on a pile of books, whatever you have. Most cameras have self timers, use it. Seriously, I started my website with photos I took using the self times. If you're using your phone I guess you have to hold the camera, but try not to do the photo in a mirror trick at least. You can get some great shots just by carefully watching where your lens is pointing, even when you're the one in front of the lens.Zoom in.
I don't mean using the zoom function (necessarily), but remember you are the focus of the photo. Fill the frame as much as you can. If you just have to have your legs or feet in the shot, position your body and the camera at an angle, bend your knees, prop your feet up on something. You really want your body to fill ~60% of the frame most of the time.
Filling 60% of the frameUse the "rule of thirds".
If you don't know what that is, divide your frame in to thirds both horizontally and vertically. Focal points of your image should fall roughly along these lines. Don't center things in the frame. Put your face at the intersection of two of these lines, have your torso follow one of the lines down one side of the frame. If you're sitting, prop up one leg so your knee comes up along the line on the opposite side of the frame from your face.
Rule of Thirds ExampleMake sure you have plenty of soft light.
Use sunlight if you have it (like a window), or lamps if you need. Perfectly even overhead lighting usually looks bad because it's flat, but very strong directional lighting (like a window in a dark room) also looks bad because the shadows are too harsh. You want one light on each side of you, one should be brighter than the other. And if you have bare bulbs, hang a sheet in front of one of them to soften the light. I don't use fancy photographic lights, I use a $30 worksite flood light from Home Depot with a sheet hung in front of it. Works great, and it's plenty bright for any room. Just have a regular lamp or a window on the other side of you.
Cheap lights can look great.
Hope that's helpful. Would love to hear from anyone who would like some work done on their photo